Choice between three bikes



SteveCarroll

New Member
Sep 4, 2010
5
0
0
35
Hi everybody. I'm currently in the market for a road bike, and I'm 6'7". I took all my measurements and found I should be on a 66cm frame, but since I can't quite afford a custom bike, and I found on bikedirect that Motobecane has a bunch of models up to 64cm, I thought I'd go with that. I don't ride competitively. I really want a bike to get me to and from class and which can make it through 20ish mile pleasure rides. I could see myself in the future taking longer rides, but at least with my last bike (Raleigh Passage 3.0), that was about the length my rides were. The Raleigh stayed at home when I relocated, first because there was no way for me to get it to the location of my new school, and second because it seemed to require so much more maintenance than it was supposed to. I'd get it tuned up, and the wheels would go out of true and the brakes would rub days after I got the bike back. I kept it inside and was very careful to only ride on the road and avoid potholes and such. It also had freewheels and the back axel cracked 4 times in the 4 years I owned the bike.

So, I've heard, and believe it's true, that BD bought some of these names and mass produces these frames in Taiwan, and some of the models have virtually no distinguishable differences, but are rather marketed with separate names on all of the parts. Being that I'm totally new to this (and way busier than I'd like to be!), I don't have all that much time to do the research. I ask that someone who has the knowledge could quickly point me in the right direction. At some point, I really hope to learn about bikes, but at the moment, my priority is buying a bike so I can actually get around (I have some responsibilities that require me to get across campus and back very quickly every day). I also find myself staring at virtually every cyclist I see, longing for a bike!

So my three choices appear to be:


Motobecane Fantom Cross UNO: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/uno.htm

Motobecane Fantom CX: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/fantom_cross_cx2.htm

Motobecane Fantom CX with triple cranks: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/fantom_cross_cx3.htm


Now, the third is just a bit out of my price range, but if it turns out to be that much better, I can make it happen. Also, I THINK the first one has freewheels, and I was really hoping for cassettes. I'm not entirely sure how to read these info charts. Pardon me please if my questions are stupid. I just find myself overwhelmed when I try to look up parts, their functionality, and what to look for when buying a new bike. I figured this is easier, as most people perusing these forums could probably tell me very quickly what the deal is. I don't want to burden anyone, so don't feel the need to write a lot. And, very quickly, I've been told many times to check Craigslist and eBay, and I'd been checking religiously, and every bike I found (eBay was always dry, but Craigslist had a bunch), appeared to be a total junker and/or completely overpriced. It looks like the best is likely number two, but I'd love your input!

Thanks!

Steve
 

Scotty_Dog

Member
Jul 30, 2004
1,107
6
38
51
At 6'-7", how much do you weigh? I ask because that could be a reason you were breaking parts on your previous bike, and might be a consideration for your new bike purchase as well.

What kind of elevation changes would you encounter on your rides? The three bikes you listed can be separated by their gearing:
Fantom Cross Uno - single speed for flat to small hills
Fantom CX (double) - 18 speed for medium hills
Fantom CX (triple) - 27 speed for large hills

Unless you encounter very steep and/or very long climbs, the CX double seems to be the best deal. But, the single speed might be better on campus and is easier to maintain. Choices, choices...
 

SteveCarroll

New Member
Sep 4, 2010
5
0
0
35
Thanks for the info! And I weigh about 215. I'm not grossly overweight. The Raleigh I rode was only a 21 inch, so it was a bit small for me. I'm not sure how that changed the weight distribution. It could have had something to do with how fast it deteriorated after tune-ups. As for these bikes, I'll have to think about where I'll be riding. Overall, there aren't that many large hills where I'm living, but I am still unfamiliar with the area. I may consider the more expensive one, as 50 dollars seems like chump change for a drastic change in the gearing.
 

kdelong

Well-Known Member
Dec 14, 2006
3,477
134
48
Motobecane has pretty decent deals on entry level bikes and you seem to be making a good choice. It may be fairly flat where you are now, but you never know where you might be three or four years from now. You might want to get a book about bicycle repair because your Motobecane will come with some assembly required and the instructions that come with the bike are just about useless. The only concern that I have is that if you are sure that you need a 66cm bike, you should do all that you can to buy a 66cm bike. It may not sould like much but 2cm is enough difference for you to feel it on a long ride. If you do get the 64cm bike, after you get your bike, you might be doing yourself a favor by taking the bike to your LBS and having them fit it to you as close as possible. This would entail little things like adjusting the saddle position, maybe getting a longer stem to fit your reach, etc. It could be the difference between you loving to ride or leaving the bike at home because it hurts to ride.
 

davereo

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2010
1,639
126
48
BD also has this bike in blue 64CM http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/messenger_x.htm ..
Just one more option if you ever decide to go with the single speed. As Scotty has stated the single speed may be a little easier to maintain on campus. You could use the money saved from your budget for the bike towards a good lock. I am not sure what you already have available to you but keep in mind that will need to keep a basic tool kit and pump on hand. Good luck with your studies and hopefully you get the right bike that works for you.
 

Froze

Well-Known Member
Jul 13, 2004
4,711
756
83
NE Indiana
I would jump on bike two simply because you don't really need triple unless your planning on some rough steep trail riding which those bikes aren't really made for radical off road use. Or if you plan on heavy touring (large panniers on the rear and front with a handlebar bat) then the triples will become useful; problem with bike 3 for heavy touring you don't have eyelet bosses on the front forks to hold panniers so you would have to buy another fork with the eyelet bosses. Thus it's not suited as it is now for heavy touring so why bother with a triple if it isn't designed for that?

I'm the odd one here in that I believe the fix gear thing is just a fad, you buy this fad type of bike and your going to wish sometime down the road you had gears so you could go more places and have more gear options for (roads) climbing hills or steep mountain grades, plus if you decide someday to do some light touring (small to medium panniers on the rear, handle bar bag on the front) the geared bike will get it done for you.

So obviously I would choose bike 2, but that's my opinion.
 

SteveCarroll

New Member
Sep 4, 2010
5
0
0
35
Thanks everybody! Your comments have helped tremendously. I was just about to buy the double-crank CX when I found out that they are all sold out, despite the website stating that they are in stock. As it turns out, the triple-crank is also sold out in every color except silver, which for arbitrary reasons, I'm not much fond of. I've emailed them to ask when they will be back in stock, so hopefully I'll be making a purchase soon! And I haven't ruled out the silver altogether. I just want a bike, and I personally don't care too much about cosmetics. It's just when I'm spending close to 600 dollars (which I realize is not much in the world of biking, but I AM a student!), I should get something that I really want. Anyway, thank you again for your help!
 

batnaso

New Member
Sep 16, 2012
5
0
0
Sorry for replying to an old post, but I have had the Fantom CX for a just over 2 months and have really enjoyed it. I was wondering which bike did you end up getting and what your experience has been so far?